Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo Bits O' Wisdom

NaNoWriMo has begun!

NaNo what? Does this have something to do with that old Mork & Mindy show? Nope. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.   It’s a “seat-of-your-pants literary adventure”! It’s “half literary marathon, half block party!”
Uh, what?

Basically if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo you’re writing a 175-page (50,000 word) book in 30 days.  1667 words (so roughly 7-8 double spaced pages) a day for the month of November. Over 250,000 people participated world-wide last year. If you want to know more about NaNoWriMo, check it out here .
For those of you already in the midst of NaNoWriMo frenzy, why are you here instead of writing??? But since you’re here, I present to you (from the NaNo poster) the most important bits of wisdom about NaNoWriMo :

1. Plot your novel, clean your house, spend time with your family, get caught up at work before November 1.  Ummm…. Okay, never mind. (Note to self, get blog post up earlier…)

2. Your curiosity is a dependable guide; follow it.


4. The first step in writing a good book: Giving yourself permission to write a bad book.

5. We can do amazing, impossible things when given a deadline, a supportive community, and unlimited access to chocolate & caffeine.

6. Make no mistake, you will be writing a lot of crap.

7. Whatever you think you are, you are more than that.

8. Write first! Ask questions later!

9. They are called rough drafts for a reason. No one gets a novel totally right on the first pass. This is true whether you give yourself a month or a lifetime to write the first draft.

10. 30 days. 50,000 words. GO.

It’s not too late for anybody to do NaNoWriMo, even if you’re hearing about it for the very first time today.  For anybody having doubts, remember this: Novels are written by everyday people who give themselves permission to write novels.

Now go write yours. See ya in a month.


  1. I'm writing like crazy today, but I wanted to pause and tell you how powerful that bolded piece of info is: Novels are written by everyday people who give themselves permission to write novels. SO TRUE. For YEARS I wanted to write but didn't think of myself as a writer. I finally read On Writing by Stephen King and was surprised to find that you don't have to be a writer or know how to be a writer to just be a writer. He gave me the idea to give myself permission to write. I didn't even know I needed it!

    Good luck to everyone trying to churn out 50,000 words in 30 short days! See you at the finish line!!

    1. Monica, I had an absolute panic attack yesterday along the lines of "How dare I think I could write something people would want to pay money to read." It really threw me off course for a couple of hours.

      But then I remembered that quote above and regrouped. Feeling better today. And maybe I'll just give all my books away for free and no one will ever had to pay money. :)

      Looking forward to reading "On Writing" soon.